In college football, there’s no such thing as a free agency or a waiver wire like there is in the NFL or other professional leagues. So when a college team’s roster gets decimated with injuries, the coaching staff has to get a little creative, just like head coach Jim Mora is with the Connecticut Huskies.
While the Huskies entered the 2022 season hoping that running back would be a position of strength for the team, Connecticut is now in serious need of players at that position following the injuries of star sophomore running back Nate Carter as well as his backup, Brian Brewton.
The situation has gotten so dire that Mora said they’ve even discussed moving starting 300-pound defensive tackle Jelani Stafford to play running back, according to Joe Arruda of the Hartford Currant.
“We look at our roster like, ‘Okay, who on our roster – no matter what position – has played running back or could play running back?’ We discussed it with (starting defensive lineman) Jelani Stafford who was a pretty darn good running back in high school and we gave him a little consideration,” Mora said, according to the Currant.
According to UConn’s current roster, Stafford is 6 feet, 300-pounds, which would make him an absolutely massive ball carrier. He does have plenty of experience playing running back, however. In high school, Stafford rushed for over 2,700 yards and 42 touchdowns. However, back then he was listed at 263 pounds as a high school senior.
For now, this is only an emergency plan, with Mora saying “we’re probably not gonna want to put him there,” but it’s certainly a storyline to watch.